History August 22, 2018 at 06:00 pm

Here are gruesome experiences faced by enslaved Africans on ships across the Atlantic

Elizabeth Ofosuah Johnson | Staff Writer

Elizabeth Ofosuah Johnson August 22, 2018 at 06:00 pm

August 22, 2018 at 06:00 pm | History

Locked up in dark dungeons and decks

Once a slave entered a ship, the slave was unlikely to see the light of day until he or she died or they made it to their destination. Africans on slave ships were separated by sexes and kept in separate dungeons. It was rarely seen that mothers with babies were on slave ships but on the rare occasions, babies were forcefully taken from their mothers and taken care of by the ship nurse. One nursing mother at a time was made to serve as a wet nurse for all the babies. A mother was very unlikely to see her baby after getting on a ship. After separation, the slaves were packed like cans of food on top of each other until there was no space. The dungeons were often overpopulated because ships took more than the required number of captives as expected. The cells were dark and stuffy with only one small window. They were also not cleaned and they smelled because they were not allowed to take their baths. The Africans had no choice but to urinate and defecate on each other and captives who died were left to rot. Captive women who were attractive were kept in different decks and served as entertainment and sexual relief for many of the whites on board the ships.


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